Fast food trends in America

Does Fast Food Still Take Over the Nation?

How often do you eat fast food?. . .Not to be confused with how often you “eat food fast”.

Earlier this year, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) published findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to explain that between 2007 and 2010 most American adults received 11.3 percent of their daily calories from restaurant fast food.[i] The greatest amount of daily fast food consumption was observed among non-Hispanic black adults (ages 20 to 39), in which fast food accounted for 21.1 percent of their daily calories. People aged 60 and over received the lowest amount of daily calories from fast food (6%).

What is the craze over fast food? It’s ready-to-go in a moment’s notice and easy to stuff in your mouth. Plus, occasionally it tastes good too. During the 1990s, fast food gained a strong presence in the restaurant market. As it increased in popularity, researchers started to find weight gain and nutrient deficiencies among people who frequently consumed fast food.

The recent NCHS study found that body weight was significantly associated with fast food consumption. Obese individuals ate the most fast food (13.1% of daily calories), while fast food intake was slightly less (11.2%) among overweight individuals and even less among people with normal body weight (9.6%).

Fast food restaurants have tried to expand their menu to healthier food items, but are these changes making a difference in the obesity epidemic? A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine evaluated fast food calorie content over a period of 14 years.[ii] Researchers found that lunch and dinner menu items had increased by 53 percent; however, negligible changes have been made in the calorie content.

While the NCHS study found that consumption of fast food has slightly declined since its strong gain in the 1990s, it is still widely prevalent in our society and observed as a significant factor in weight gain.[iii]

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


[i] Fryar CD, Ervin RB. Caloric intake from fast food among adults: United States, 2007-2010. Accessed on April 10, 2013 from

[ii] Bauer KW, Hearst MO, Earnest AA, et al. Energy content of U.S. fast-food restaurant offerings: 14-year trends. Am J Prev Med. 2012 Nov;43(5):490-7.

[iii] Garcia G, Sunil TS, Hinojosa P. The fast food and obesity link: consumption patterns and severity of obesity. Obes Surg. 2012 May;22(5):810-8.

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